Tear Apart_Tutorial


OK so this is what our final product should be. I haven’t used any scripting or rigging to simulate this effect. Only matter of fact is how you use Gradient Ramp map for various and create absolute amazing results.

I saw an ad on TV showing a new detergent powder for washing cloths and there they (host) added a liter of water in a tub, then added a T-Shirt in it and then she poured the powder from top of it. As the powder was getting dissolve in the water-tub it was looking like powder is tearing that T-Shirt apart … kind of when you put acid on any material which would eventually burn out. That is how I started this tutorial…thought of showing you how to create an effect when some acid falls over a substance and getting teared apart.

Also you can achieve this effect with simcloth too. Whether or not it’s up to you how or what the requirements are .

Note :-

  • All the maps that we have used contains the same timing and same color space.
  • All the Gradient Ramp Map contains the same features (parameters) throughout the tutorial.

Below are the properties of the Gradient Map used in this tutorial.

Gradient Ramp Parameters

  • Ramp color and flags rains intact.
  • Gradient Type = Radial
  • Interpolation = Ease Out
  • Noise amount = 0.2
  • Noise Size = 2.0
  • Phase = 4.0
  • Levels = 10.0
  • Noise Threshold (Smooth) = 0.2
  • the output section…enable INVERT

Right so let’s get started with this tutorial.

  • OK, so go to the Standard primitive and select Cylinder. Once you have activated the cylinder go to the Top viewport and create it.
  • See the snapshot below to amend the following settings for our newly created cylinder. And rename that cylinder01 from its default name to “Base“.

Setting for Base entity….

Radius = 73.736

Height = 91.726

Height Segments = 1

Cap Segments = 100

Sides = 100

While the rest remains the same….

Now it is not necessary that you should follow my Radius and Height in this tutorial, where-as Height doesn’t actually fall into category. You could easily convert that into Editable Mesh or Editable poly and remover the base which we are going to remove in our next step. The main reason is i do not want my original element to lose its properties.


  • Keeping our element selected….go to the modifier list and select “Select Modifier“. Select the Gizmo option from the vol.select inside the modifier stack and follow the following options listed below.

Stack Selection level = face

Selection Level = Replace with INVERT option ON

Selection type = Window

Texture map = Gradient ramp (Which we are going to create next).

OK so now our timeline of 100 frames to be precise. How much your timeline too is not important at this stage, but I have started with our default timeline duration with 30fps in our configuration system.

OK so now we got 3 flags inside our ramp by default. Shift you flag 50 from it original position to position 2. YES, we are going to animate this ramp . This conclude that our merely 35% of work is done by this ramp. So now first we’ll animate then we change colors.

Alright then…enable your AutoKey , feed the following values in our timeline.

Flag 1 –> Frame = 1 , Position = 0 Color (R,G,B = 255, 255, 255) —> White

Flag 2 –> Frame = 1 , Position = 2 Color (R,G,B = 0, 0, 0) —> Black

Flag 3 –> Frame = 1 , Position = 100 Color (R,G,B = 0, 0, 0) —> Black

OK this tells us that our initial 3flags are at the resting position. Now let’s move ahead shifting this flags from its resting position to next phase.

Flag 1 –> Frame = 1 , Position = 0 Color (R,G,B = 255, 255, 255) —> White

Flag 1 –> Frame = 2 , Position = 95 Color (R,G,B = 0, 0, 0) —> Black

Flag 1 –> Frame = 3 , Position = 100 Color (R,G,B = 0, 0, 0) —> Black

So if you see the snapshot , you’ll see that only the flag 2 is animated from frame 1 to frame 100. So this below image shows the flag 2 travelling from frame 1 to frame 100just moving from point A to point B. The major important system is black and white color, which provides us the great deal in creating Bump map, Displacement Map and creating and generating particles based upon black and white map.

Below snapshot is the combination of 4 different snaps stretching from frame 1 to frame 100 only animating flag 2 while rest of the flags 1 and 3 remains same.

first snap is at frame 25

first snap is at frame 50

first snap is at frame 75

first snap is at frame 100



  • Drag the time slider and see how vol.select modifier works out.
  • Keeping the volume select modifier ON go to the modifier panel and go for displace modifier. OK so i n this modifier, there are not many changes we are going to make.

Amend these following inside this newly created displace modifier.

Displacement -6.0

Decay 0.115

Now while rest remains the same apart from…one option we need to activate.

Activate “Use Existing Mapping“. Here you can see the changes. This displace modifier use this same map we created for Volume Select modifier. See the screenshot below.


  • Now again go inside modifier panel and add “Push Modifier” over this displace modifier.

Use the push value to -2.0

See the screenshot below.


  • Now what have we done here is we first added Volume Select modifier then Displace modifier and lastest is Push modifier. Yet our selection from Volume Select modifier is ON, we need to turn that off. OK so we do not have any modifier that says “Turn Off modifier“, but we do have modifiers like “Poly Select Modifier, Mesh Select modifier and Patch Select modifier“. This modifiers are actually used to come out of our selection.
  • So go in the modifier panel and hit “Mesh Select Modifier
  • Save your file.


  • The above image shows after you apply mesh select modifier. nyou see we get some harsh edges. So we need them to relax. Lets apply Modifier.
  • Go to the modifier panel and apply “Relax Modifier“.

Relax value = 0.5

Iteration = 5.0.

See the snapshot below.


  • Now add “TurboSmooth Modifier” to give more segmentations our model. Now this could make your model slightly heavy. As we have applied smoothness modifier which will break out segments and multiply with 4 and will provide us the final result for it.


  • For the time being lets turn off Turbosmooth modifier for faster workflow.
  • Now apply UVW Map above this smoothness modifier. And then again add “Volume Select modifier”. Either you can copy paste our previously created Volume Select modifier here or make the same changes we made earlier. Now see the snapshot below.


  • Now apply “Delete Mesh modifier” and see what happens. The selected portion from Volume Select Modifier gets deleted. The major use of modifiers are , our original model can be brought back again.
  • Same map is use to delete the inner portion. So after you use and apply Delete Mesh modifier then also amend Mesh Select Modifier to come out of this new selection from Volume Selection.


  • OK save the file.
  • Again apply “Relax Modifier” and amen this following values.

Relax value = 0.5

Iteration = 5.0

  • OK Now our element looks like a flat panel. So we have to give some sort of thickness to it.
  • So we go in the modifier panel and apply “Shell Modifier” to it.

Input these values…
Inner Amount = 0.0
Outer amount = 0.25

While the rest remains the same.


  • Now ,save the file
  • Let’s move forward again by adding another “Volume Select Modifier” in our scene. Well no changes in there. Just we need to add same map we created at initial stage. Just to make little arrangements. Add that Gradient Ramp map in your texture map section in Volume Select Modifier parameters.


  • So our element looks pretty plane , lets add some deformation to its surface.
  • Go to modifier list and select “Noise Modifier“. Amend these values to affect our model.

Scale = 150.0

Fractal ON

Roughness = 0.265

Iteration = 6.0

Strength = axis = 5.0, while rest of the Noise modifier properties remains unchanged.


  • Now once you have done till here lets add “Mesh Select modifier“. Always remember that whenever you add volume select modifier keep in mind to finish it with Poly Select and or Mesh Select Modifier.
  • Lets add Push Modifier to it. Add 0.1as push value.
  • OK save the file, now comes the secondary section.
  • Keeping our model selected again apply Volume Select Modifier . Also open up your Medit (Material Editor Window) and drag-drop the very first map—gradient map we created.. we are using the same map and making changes inside modifier.


  • OK, why we have made this volume select add was to make a new layer of popping up the after acid effect.
  • So save the file before we amend new modifier.
  • Go to the modifier list and amend “Tessellate Modifier“. Now this modifier will provide us more polygons from the selected ones. See the scnapshot below to make out the difference.


  • Now once we add this tessellate, we need Displace modifier to displace actual model. And so to do that, we may need one different texture map comprises of black and white color. Keeping our model selected, add “Displace Modifier”. And amend these following changes.

Strength = 2.0

Decay = 0.2

Map= now here we should add the map which we will be creating next.

Open up the Material Editor and select an empty slot and hit “G” from keyboard to open Material/Map Browser. Through this you can add Materials and Maps at one time.

Once your map is loaded in Medit, go to the cellular parameters. Below are the parameters we need to feed in cell map. Rename this cell map as “Tear_Pores

Cell Color = White (255, 255, 255)

Division Color 1 = Black (0, 0, 0)

Division Color 2 = Black (0, 0, 0)

In Cell characteristics…

Cellular = ON

Size = 4.0

Spread = 0.8, while rest of properties remains same.


Drag drop this same map in the displace map section. Choose Instance when prompted. See the affect in viewport. Below is the snapshot of the same map effect.

  • Now after doing that we need to relax the corners and also push the edges a little . So we add Relax as well as Push Modifier over diaplce modifier.

Amend the following changes

Push Modifier amendments.

Push value = 0.15

Relax Modifier amendments.

Relax Value = 0.5 and Iteration = 4.0. Enable “Keep boundary points fixed“.

  • Add Mesh Select modifier to wrap up our selection.
  • Save the file now.
  • Again lets add another Volume Select Modifier in our stack. Go to the Medit and drag-drop our Tear map which we created earlier and rename this map as “Tear ReMap“. The map properties will remain the same throughout this series. The only we are to change is the parameters inside Volume Select Modifiers.

Stack Selection Level = Face

Selection Method = Add —-> INVERT ON

Selection type = Crossing

Texture Map = Tear ReMap —> Here we add our newly copy-pasted map in our Volume Select texture Map slot. Instance when prompted.

  • OK, so till here we have just added few of Volume Select Modifiers to modify our model by going in its sub-object level without damaging the model’s original properties. So when time comes we can back-forth our model to make changes. Yes this can make the scene a little heavy but if you convert the object into Editable Poly or Mesh, you need to refine your model at each interval of time. Many newbie’s try to edit the object by going in poly mode and then they apply modifiers. It is a wrong process. Since once you go inside the selection and amend as many modifies. If by any chance we close our sub-object level after implying modifiers. This all modifiers will behave in weird fashion.
  • So now again apply “Tessellate Modifier” over our Volume Select Modifier.

Properties of tessellate Modifiers.

Operate On = POLYGONS —> Edge

Iteration = 1

  • Why have we added Tessellate here since we need a smooth outfit for edges in our model. And that can be achieved by adding another Modifier “Relax Modifier” over tessellate modifier.

Relax Modifier Properties.

Relax Value = 0.5

Iteration = 9.0

Enable = Keep Boundaries pts Fixed.


  • Lets finish this model by adding Mesh Select Modifier over it.
  • Save the file as “Tear_Apart_Finished“. Now have a good playblast (preview your animation) and see what we get. Pretty amazing huh… WE can take this further by adding particles..a good amount of particle with same gradient mapping opacity channel and diffuse channel mapping the particles with same black and white colors showing the dispersion effect too.


Below is the snapshot final tear apart look.